No way I can make a good pumpkin pie. I haven’t tried it yet but somehow I sense it’s just not my cup of tea. However some kind of pumpkin puree magic must happen in my kitchen since I’ve got a few tins of smashed squash to get rid of. Bear with me, another couple of recipes and I will get it over with all things pumpkin and relatives. Amen.
I write homemade gnocchi and my mind goes straight to images of my grandma’s house in Naples. She is a 90 year old lady that enjoys living alone and cooking homemade pasta for her family. On Sundays we still find her working a dough made with potatoes, eggs and flour on a table in a medium sized kitchen overlooking a balcony with plants she takes care of scrupulously. On that table top entirely covered with dumplings and flour she masters technical “gnocchi skills” with a laudable speed I cannot really compete with (well, taking pictures of food disadvantages me a lot :)).
Indeed, it took me half an hour or so to go all the way through the recipe. Too sticky, too wet, unmanageable, unroll-able, gnocchi scattered here and there, flour on the camera and all over me. Bringing to boil these delicious golden nuggets and sauteing them in butter with a few walnuts, took me a few instants instead. Eventually it was just me being too fussy about the shape. Homemade gnocchi are to be beautifully irregular.
In the end I am happy with the final dish and wonder why in Italy no one has spread the voice about pumpkin gnocchi. I can only imagine it wouldn’t be the easiest task ever to explain this pumpkin-puree-in-a-tin story to Italians. Not to mention my grandma. After all, why betray a 3 ingredient recipe proven to make families happy and grandmothers even more adorable every Sunday morning?
No doubt the most traditional gnocchi recipe works perfectly, especially when served with a fresh homemade tomato sauce. Mine? Worked too. However, to be 100% honest I note that the addition of the pumpkin does not contribute in a distinctive way to the taste. Perhaps, at least in this case, it’s more a matter of color and texture. Or just another case of pumpkin mania.
- 1 cup plain flour plus more to get the right consistency
- 4-5 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 4 tbsp. butter
- a bunch of parsley finely chopped
- a handful of walnuts crushed
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl combine all the ingredients of the dough together (flour, pumpkin puree, nutmeg, egg and a pinch of salt). Roll the dough with your hands to make small cylinders; Sprinkle more flour if needed to help you shape the cylinders.
- With the knife cut them into little pillows about 2 cm each. In a large pan bring water to boil and carefully drop the gnocchi in.
- When they rise to the surface drain them and keep aside.
- In an another pan over medium heat, add butter, salt, pepper and walnuts.
- Transfer the gnocchi in this pan and saute them for a couple of minutes. Stir in the finely shopped parsley for one minute or so. Serve warm.